at the Inn at St. John's
July 26 - 28, 2019
Featured marques for 2019: FERRARI - ROLLS ROYCE - BENTLEY
The Concours d’Elegance of America has always drawn the finest collector cars in the world to its show field. On the 70th anniversary of Maranello’s first victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans the Concours will feature historic Ferrari sports and GT cars from 1949-1985. Continuing in that tradition, for 2019 the Concours will also have a significant showing of Rolls-Royce and Bentley motorcars.

The Bentley Drivers' Club and the Rolls-Royce Owners' Club have selected metro Detroit as

the location for their annual international joint meet and have made the Concours d’Elegance of America an integral part of their event.

The Concours features an invitational art exhibition each year. Exhibiting artists will be announced in our next edition in June, with full coverage in September.

ArtistAuto and Art Avenue merge

The two European artist groups have merged as of the end of 2018. The recent RetroMobile show was the first exhibition as a merged group.

Yahn Janou, president of ArtistAuto and the new amalgamated group to be called ArtistAuto says: " When we started ArtistAuto in 1996, there were around 35 artist members.

As the years have passed , some of the artists have retired, moved on or perhaps passed away. This is a common story with small groups... AFAS is facing much the same issues." Art Avenue" was created around 2005. It's recent president was Christine Nys who now becomes Vice -President of the new group. Its major exhibiting was also RetroMobile however as a separate entity.

Says Janou "We have seen in the past that as a larger group, we can attract more show organizers and create better exhibiting environments for our members. The recent RetoMobile show is an excellent example. The larger group was able to negotiate better space and terms and mount a more impressive exhibit." "I think the recent show had a new "freshness"..." he adds.

Canadian International AutoShow, Toronto

One of the largest auto shows in North America (annual attendance over 350,000) launched a new feature for 2019 called "ICONS- Art and the Automobile". The attraction was located in a dedicated room and showcased examples of exceptional automobiles. Under the curatorial direction of the Cobble Beach Concours d'Elegance, the feature of the exhibit this year was the Patterson Collection's 1937 Cadillac Series 90 Hartmann Cabriolet.

Jay Koka was commissioned to produce the inaugural poster for the 2019 event. The large acrylic on canvas painting features Toronto's iconic Royal Alexendra Theatre as background.

The General Manager of the AutoShow Jason Campbell commented ‘It was a stunning car and called for a special dedication – Jay’s painting was a very worthy tribute to the car’s appearance here, and will be a new tradition we intend to build upon in years ahead’.


But is it Art?

Larry Fuente, Mendocino, CA
by Wallace Wyss

So a couple years back, I’m in Mendocino, a little village on the West Coast about 3 hours drive North of San Francisco and I go into a bar, one of those old western bars that should have a swinging gates to enter, and I see this guy arrive in a Cadillac, an old befinned one from the Sixties, and it is totally encrusted with sea shells.

Hey, I got a good memory. Seems like 40 or so years before, on my Uncle’s ranch , also in Mendocino, I saw a guy putting sea shells on a small English car called a Berkeley.

I said to him “Hey, why mess up a good car? Take those shells off and paint it red.” And he said “No, sir, this is art.”

I was dubious. Back then, I wasn’t an artist yet.

Then a decade or so later I remember being bowled over when I saw a seashell-encrusted sculpture of a woman on the cover of National Geographic, a magazine I had read religiously as a child.

Same guy.

Since then he has been the subject of documentaries, shown his work in many galleries and even has his work permanently enshrined in the Smithsonian.

I don’t know if there were “art cars” before Larry Fuente. But he has a style all his own, a combination of color, and texture. And a sense of style in picking the car that goes underneath – he seems to favor Cadillacs.

So, since I live in SoCal, I haven’t darkened the door of that local bar on Little Lake Road in Mendocino recently but I know, if I’m ever up on the upper coast, I’ll be able to spot Larry coming in one of his art cars a mile away. And I’m glad I didn’t talk him out of putting those shells on that car….

The Smithsonian American Art Museum writes this on their web site:

“Born in Chicago, Larry Fuente studied at the Kansas City Art Institute from 1967 to 1968, after which he followed friends to California. Since the late 1960’s, Fuente has concentrated on producing a body of work that is marked by an obsessive interest in surface ornamentation. He delights in covering readily identifiable forms with beads, plastic baubles, buttons and mass-produced items of no intrinsic value, transforming the mundane into unique objects. Size is no deterrent to Fuente, who once spent five years coating a 1960 Cadillac sedan with one million brightly colored beads, sequins, buttons, plastic lawn ornaments, and other items. Such works are related to a Latino popular-culture tradition in which automobiles and other objects are embellished with a profusion of brightly colored ornaments.”

Detours continues... »